Several factors must be considered in the search for the ideal first name for our baby. Here are eight of the criteria that often guide our choice.
In some families, traditions have been carried on for generations. Thus, a family eldest who should name his first son Antoine as his grandfather and great-grandfather did before him will probably not want to choose another name. Other families choose unique criteria, such as having the same initials.
Depending on the origin of the father and the mother, traditions may be essential in choosing the name of a child. For example, for the Greeks, the first son bears the name of his grandfather, which means that within the same family, several cousins have the same first name. In Scotland, children's first names used to be chosen according to an elaborate system. The first son took his father's father's name, the first daughter took his mother's mother's name, the second son took his mother's father's name, etc.
Some parents are very afraid that their child's name will sound weird. Others do not understand parents who give their child a name that is too common andprefer to give an original name. It really is a matter of taste.
Some choose a name by the sound of it. For example, many Quebecers avoid first names that end in "a" because they don't want it to be pronounced "aw", like Sophiaw. Depending on regional accents, other sounds are also avoided. Some also look for first names with a specific number of syllables that sounds good to them. By browsing the forums, we see parents who ask for "a first name of three syllables that ends in i", for example.
When we see that our child has a particular physical characteristic, this can serve as inspiration. For example, a boy with red hair who will be called Archie, a girl with sky blue eyes who will be called Sky, a girl with red hair who will be called Anne, like the one from Green Gables…
Sometimes it's surnames that don't lend themselves well to certain first names and that (fortunately!) influence the parents' decision. This is the case of Tom Matte and Al Kaline.
Those who have suffered from having a compound name may want to give their child a very short name. Others, who have a first name that contracts, like Dominique who becomes Dom, may want to give their child the same chance or avoid this burden, depending on their experience with nicknames. Moreover, the first names of people we like lesscertain aspects of their personality automatically go on the “it-is-not-the-question!” list. »
Couples made up of an Anglophone and a Francophone, a Montrealer and a Tunisian or a Saguenay and a Chinese try to make sure the whole family can pronounce the name the same way…or pronounce it at all.
Check out our other baby name articles for ideas, advice and inspiration!